It all started when I was VERY young.
I would change my clothes, quite literally, at least 4 times a day. I loved fashion and thought I was quite the fashionista. I would create outfits with those little sticker and paper doll sets you could buy at the gas station or I would create my own version. I would also quite vocally let my friends know or publicly announce their fashion faux pas. (author’s note…to this day, I am grateful to those friends who endured that youthful nastiness!)
This trend of outfit changes, that rivalled any Katy Perry concert, continued until adulthood. What I didn’t understand during my younger years was that the intense preoccupation and obsession with fashion and outer appearance was not a healthy or productive thing to be engaging in the way I was doing it. Why was it such a ‘thing’ for me?
During my adolecent years, photos of Kate Moss and Amber Valetta covered my highschool binder, locker and bedroom. I knew everything about them. Like my husband’s favourite UFC fighter, I knew their ‘stats’. I knew exactly what they ate, what they did for a workout routine, how tall they were, what fashion designers they worked for and most importantly…I knew how much they weighed.
In short, I spent a month of my grade nine year in a hospital room for anorexia. After that, I had a decent career being a bulimic (I’m an all-or-nothing kind of gal!) and had body dysmorphia for the majority of my life.
After that deep dive into the rabbit hole of eating disorders, when I surfaced as a numerical adult, I still didn’t quite have a grip on confident decision making or was even the slightest bit confident in my body at all. I had done a 180 degree turn the other way to only wearing frumpy tops and stretchy tights.
As time went on in my 20’s and early 30’s, some of the previously noted dark times produced behaviours that included leading a sedentary lifestyle and partying waaaayyyy too much. Not only had I lost the drive to even try to show up to life, I was dealing with upwards of a solid 20 to 40 extra beer pounds. Ugh.
Having just turned 39 this past February, I finally learned why I was the way I was and it had absolutely nothing to do with clothing or fashion.
My inability to dress myself like other human beings was a symptom and by-product of unlearned life tools.
What had happened was, through various life experiences I hadn’t learned the proper know-how to make decisions. I had spent a lot of time being a people-pleaser and didn’t know how to just simply choose…anything.
At a restaurant I couldn’t decide what I wanted to eat, I would stare at my closet while bawling, refusing to go out anywhere after being frustrated of ‘not having anything to wear’ and when asked a question I would ask a stupid question back like, “I dunno, what do YOU want?”.
Being a life-long student of self awareness, I finally beecame honest with myself that I was almost paralyzingly self-conscious, had incredibly low, almost non-existent, self-esteem and was not living my life the way it was designed to be lived.
So what was the breakthrough that got me to where I am now?
It was the relentless persevering will to want to change, the consistency of choosing to rewrite my negative inner monologue and the desire to intentionally learn how to be able to make one simple darn decision.
Though I still have hang-ups of whether to choose the black blazer or the red one (you can never go wrong with red ladies!) for a business meeting, I am so so grateful for grace, truth and that I can now ACTUALLY peaceful and confidently pick an outfit!
“But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’, and your ‘No’ be ‘No’” -Matthew 5:7